By Steve Kelly
Stardate 230410 – Vulcan, Alberta.
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In an event rivaling any Hollywood premier Leonard Nimoy stepped out of his shuttle (car) to billowing applause from thousands of people, some of whom had traveled half way around the world for this chance to see Mr. Nimoy arrive in Vulcan.
49 year old David Hart traveled from Perth, Australia to witness this event, “This is a historic day” Hart said. A fan of the show since the 60’s. Former Captain Hart is an ex air force fighter pilot. Hart said, “I can’t think of any other show that shaped my life in the way Star Trek did”.
“It was Star Trek that made me want to become a pilot, I would have preferred to join NASA, but I guess I lived a little to far south for that, so I joined the Australian air force”.
As for Leonard Nimoy he said “I have been a Vulcan for 44 years, I figured it was about time I came home”.
During his somewhat extended 45 year mission Nimoy has succeeded in placing Mr. Spock and the planet Vulcan on the science fiction map. What’s interesting is that in doing so, Nimoy has also indirectly altered the timeline of this small Canadian farming town which just happened to be called “Vulcan”.
Tom Grant is the Mayor of Vulcan, Alberta and proudly claims “every year more and more fans of Star Trek make visits to Vulcan, many just so they can say they have been to the birth place of Mr. Spock”. According to Grant, all this has resulted in his town becoming an icon for Star Trek fans.
Meanwhile although it may have taken Leonard Nimoy 45 years to visit the undiscovered country of Vulcan, Alberta, news surrounding the potential business opportunities that could be had from this parallel coexistence between fact and fiction did not fall on deaf ears when it came to the Ferengi like members of Grants town council.
In an attempt to grab a “piece of the action”, the Alberta Vulcanite’s have erected a custom Star Trek visitors center, declared themselves as “the Star Trek capitol of Canada” they have even build a model of the USS Enterprise, which although lacking in detail just enough to avoid the subspace radar of Paramounts’ legal department, still could pass as a federation starship. Just for good measure, they have parked this tribute to local “Enterprise” in a geostationary orbit just off highway #23 presumably in an attempt to make first contact with any passing motorists. But at the end of the day, few things could have done more to help materialize the dreams and aspirations of this small city on the edge of forever than the day the most famous Vulcan of them all made the voyage home.
Steve Kelly is a freelance writer, broadcaster, photographer and video journalist based in Calgary, Alberta.